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Australia is a big continent, home to various population hubs across Australia whether they be rural country towns, Regional cities or major Capital cities.

One of the city’s thats been making waves in Queensland is Cairns in Tropical North Queensland.

Many believe you have to go to Indonesia to enjoy the warm tropical climate, stunning beaches when in fact you can enjoy all of this and more in Cairns. In addition, what makes it even better then Indonesia is one of the natural wonders of the world the great barrier a reef is at Cairn’s doorstep. Cairns is a major city and tourist destination known with a population of over 150,000, Cairns is the fifth-largest city in Queensland and the 14th largest in Australia.

Cairns plays a vital role in the Queensland economy, contributing significantly to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) and providing employment opportunities for thousands of people. In this blog post, we will break down the Cairns economy and its contribution to Queensland’s GDP.

Tourism Industry

Tourism is the backbone of the Cairns economy, and it is the primary source of income for the region. Cairns attracts millions of visitors each year, who come to experience its natural beauty and explore the Great Barrier Reef. The tourism industry employs around 15,000 people in Cairns and generates approximately $2.5 billion in revenue annually.

Image: Great Barrier Reef

In recent years, Cairns has also become a popular destination for international students, particularly from China. The education sector contributes around $250 million to the Cairns economy annually.

Image: James Cook University

Agriculture Industry

Cairns has a thriving agricultural sector, which includes sugar cane, bananas, avocados, and mangoes. The region is home to over 1,000 farming businesses and employs around 3,000 people. The agriculture industry contributes approximately $370 million to the Cairns economy annually.

Image: Innisfail Banana Farm

Mining Industry

The mining industry also plays a significant role in the Cairns economy. The region is rich in mineral resources such as bauxite, copper, and zinc. Mining companies in Cairns employ around 1,500 people, and the industry contributes approximately $130 million to the economy annually.

Image: Cape Flattery Silica Mines

Infrastructure and Construction

Infrastructure and construction are also important contributors to the Cairns economy. The region has seen significant growth in recent years, and new infrastructure projects are underway, such as the Cairns Shipping Development project, the Cairns Convention Centre expansion, and the Cairns Western Arterial Road. The construction industry in Cairns employs around 4,000 people and contributes approximately $630 million to the economy annually.


In summary, Cairns is a critical contributor to the Queensland economy, with its tourism industry being the primary driver of economic activity. The city also has a thriving agriculture industry, a growing education sector, a significant mining industry, and a strong infrastructure and construction industry. The Cairns economy’s total contribution to Queensland’s gross domestic product is estimated to be around $5.3 billion annually. As such, Cairns will continue to play a crucial role in the economic growth and development of the state of Queensland.

Cairns Buyers Agent | Buyers Agent Cairns

Troyson Bassani

Owner & Head of research

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